Cal-Arizona State Postgame Quotes

Jan. 4, 2009

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- California head coach Mike Montgomery

On the challenge against the Sun Devils tonight:
The kids really played hard. Arizona State is really a good team. Harden is good, had the ball in his hands every single time. We didn't have the answer to him, necessarily, but we made him work. We felt like we didn't want [Jeff] Pendergraph to go off on us, so we tried to do the best we could on [James] Harden.

On how the Bears stay determined to exit the weekend with two wins:
It was a good weekend and you have to give the players credit. They have just really hung in there. We were playing out there with Patrick a little chipped tooth, a little split chin; Theo had four fouls. We had some other guys in there, and we hung in there. Offensively, obviously, I thought Jerome was spectacular. That's about as good as it gets. Patrick came in after he got bopped and made a couple of plays that got us going.

On how the Bears managed against ASU's zone and the play of James Harden:
Their zone causes you problems and you have to just kind of freelance a little bit and see if you can find some stuff. I thought Jorge did a really nice job of going in and playing against Harden - you've got a freshman out there just kind of guttin' up, at least cause some problems. At least we made him have to take 22 shots to get his points. And that's what you wanted to do. Defensively, I thought we did a pretty good job. We had some breakdowns, but you're going to have some. You've got give these kids credit, they just battled their tails off.

On what Cal's 2-0 start in conference play means in the big picture:
This just means we did a nice job, we held homecourt. We want to compete every night out. We're goiung to take our chances. We had to see if we could compete, and I think we can if we do the things we did tonight.

Arizona State head coach Herb Sendek

On getting within two points of Cal in the second half but being unable to come all the way back:
That was the biggest key: we had a hard time getting stops. They really took us apart. They're a very difficult team to defend, and we just didn't have the answers we needed on the defensive end of the floor tonight. They're quick and they're skilled.

On how to guard a team that shoots as well as Cal from long range:
That's what makes them a tough guard. They shoot the ball No. 1 in the country [in 3-point percentage] with three prolific shooters, and all those guys can also go off the bounce. That's pretty tough to deal with.

On whether foul trouble led his team to rely too much on James Harden down the stretch:
I don't ever feel that we rely too much on James, because James isn't the kind of person that just plays for himself. We can't have it both ways - that would be very disingenuous. When he plays, he's always playing for our team, and if he's not making shots, he's making sure other guys get open looks.

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